Solar system’s farthest-out known object is … Farout


An artist’s conception shows the distant object known as 2018 VG18 or “Farout.” (Carnegie Institution for Science Illustration / Roberto Molar Candanosa)

Astronomers say they’ve discovered the most distant body ever observed in our solar system, a potential dwarf planet that’s about 11 billion miles from the sun.

Its nickname? “Farout.”

The far-out object — which is also known by its more official but less colorful designation, 2018 VG18 — was detected with Japan’s 8-meter Subaru Telescope in Hawaii during a campaign to look for extremely distant solar system objects, including a hypothetical Planet X or Planet Nine.

Further observations to confirm Farout’s distance and determine its brightness and color were made with the 6.5-meter Magellan Telescopes at the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. The observations were reported today in a circular distributed by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

About Alan Boyle

Aerospace and science editor for GeekWire, creator of Cosmic Log, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.
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